I like to clean out the fridge before I leave town. I can’t bare to come home to moldy, wilted vegetables. Such a waste! Today I realized I had a dozen colorful peppers that would no longer be crisp and crunchy when I return from New York. I’m leaving in two days so I decided to cook everything, mix it with quinoa, and stuff it into peppers. It worked! These were delicious and there’s nothing left except a few tomatoes and cucumbers on the counter. Mission accomplished and it was a success!
And did I say healthy? Yes, these are jammed packed with nutrients: quinoa is a super food and spinach isn’t exactly a weakling. I eat a little spinach every day, and I truly believe it’s what gives my skin its glow. The vitamin C in those peppers and the squash and the roasted tomatoes are just what a body needs. All of these foods are great immune boosters and antioxidants. Add a little fresh herbs and parsley for spice, a few ears of corn for sweetness, and a little cheese to bind it all together. Okay, cheese is my weakness, but that’s the only splurge in this recipe. Just look how beautiful it all turned out.
I like to slice the peppers vertically so each piece has a pretty little stem. This takes skill, however, and the first time I tried it, one half of the pepper would get the stem, and the other half was barely large enough to stuff. I always start by slicing into the stem first. The stem is the most difficult, but once you successfully slice it in half the knife just glides right through the rest of the pepper. Remove the seeds and ribs and place the beautiful pepper cups on a baking pan.
In a skillet, prepare the filling. I saute’ a large onion, diced jalapeno’ and squash. Add the corn, the spinach and cooked quinoa. In a large bowl, mix in the sauteed vegetables and chopped tomatoes. Season it with herbs and spices and red pepper flakes and mozzarella cheese, and you’ll want to eat it right then and there without even stuffing those peppers, but don’t. Don’t be tempted because it’s even better when it’s been baking in the oven for forty-five minutes getting flavored by these delicious peppers.
These are a meal all by themselves, but you can serve them with a side of meat (if you’re a meat eater) or fish. I ate mine with a large serving of beans. It was so good, and I have leftovers to take to school tomorrow. This is my new clean-out-the-fridge dish for late summer. Just amazingly delicious and healthy.
- 6-8 colorful bell peppers, washed and cut in half
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 large onion
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 3 large yellow squash
- 3 ears of corn (a can of whole kernel can be substituted)
- 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 4 garden grown tomatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup shredded cheese (use any organic cheese that melts easily)
- olive oil to saute vegetables
- salt and white pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon of cumin
- ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh cut parsley, chopped
- Wash and slice the peppers. Remove seeds and ribs.
- Chop onion and squash into small pieces (about the size of kidney beans).
- Chop the jalapeno, finely diced.
- In a non-stick skillet saute' onion, jalapeno, and squash until tender.
- Add the corn and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted.
- Place tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds to remove skins.
- Chop tomatoes into small chunks.
- Cook the quinoa according to directions on the package.
- In a large bowl, mix the vegetable saute' with the tomatoes and quinoa.
- There will be liquid in the bowl from the vegetables. Try to drain off most of it, however, leaving some in will not hurt the recipe.
- Stir in the cheese.
- Add chopped parsley, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Mix until blended.
- Salt and pepper to taste. I sprinkle it on and mix it. Then, sprinkle more on and taste.
- Continue to do this until it's seasoned to your liking.
- Stuff this into the peppers and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until peppers are tender.